Friday, October 22nd | COVID-19 Daily Update
In the last 24 hours, eight people have died in Portugal, and there are 930 new cases of infection by COVID-19. According to data released in the epidemiological bulletin of DGS, there are now 1,083,651 confirmed cases in the country, with 18,125 deaths. As for the number of people who recovered from the disease, 678 cases were counted, increasing to 1,034,721.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
João Paulo Gomes, a researcher at the National Institute of Health, said that the new strain of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has no growing trend in Portugal and that there is no evidence that it affects the effectiveness of the vaccines. However, the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, explains that these “two sublines are being monitored, studied and observed in Portugal and other countries, to assess their possible greater transmissibility, disease burden and lethality”.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, warned that “the pandemic is not over” and that this is globally causing “a delay in the economic recovery” but said he did not expect an aggravation of COVID-19 in Portugal.
However, in response to the challenge posed by the “Memory and Hope” manifesto, promoted by a group of 100 people from various areas and which received the support of the President of the Republic, hundreds of initiatives in memory in memory of the victims will be carried out from today until Sunday.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The official number of deaths from COVID-19 globally is 4.9 million. However, the WHO warned that without equitable distribution of vaccines in countries where immunization rates are still low, this figure could double in 2022. Gordon Brown and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have called on G20 countries to increase vaccine donations to reach the goal of immunizing 40% of the world’s population by 2021. People reported that only one in seven doses of vaccines promised to the poorest countries was delivered, calling for a change in the behaviour of rich states and pharmaceutical companies.
In addition, the WHO also disclosed that between 80 and 180 thousand health professionals died between January 2020 and May this year.
In the UK, 52,009 new cases of COVID-19 were registered yesterday, the highest number since July 17th. In Eastern Europe, too, the pandemic is getting worse, with Romania becoming the EU country with the highest mortality, Ukraine setting records for infections and Latvia enacting new confinement.
In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro once again reaffirmed that the vaccine against COVID-19 will not be mandatory, and some states and municipalities have already adopted the vaccination certificate in the country.
In the US, an advisory panel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday supported the administration of booster doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Janssen vaccines. According to that entity, people can choose a vaccine from a different pharmaceutical company for the next inoculation.
Complete vaccination with Pfizer’s vaccine prevented 90% of COVID-19 deaths associated with the Delta variant. The total inoculation with the AstraZeneca vaccine prevented deaths in 91% of people who had tested positive for the strain. According to Aziz Sheikh, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, this research is especially relevant. It focuses on the Delta variant, which already dominates COVID-19 cases in many countries and represents a higher risk of hospitalization.
The virus that causes COVID-19 may be seasonal and related to low temperatures and humidity, indicating a Global Health Institute study in Barcelona, released yesterday. According to the institute, the results show a negative relationship between the virus transmission rate and temperature and humidity on a global scale: higher transmission rates were associated with lower temperatures and humidity.
The Minister of State and Finance, João Leão, is heard today at the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance as part of the assessment of the State Budget for 2022 in general. The hearing takes place while the Government is still negotiating support between the parties to enable the approval of the proposal in general on the 27th. However, the new study by the Technical Budget Support Unit reveals that the State Budget proposal for 2022 has the scope to achieve a deficit of up to 2% of GDP. For this, it is enough that transitional measures are no longer necessary to contain the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, Eurostat announced this morning that the budget deficits in the Eurozone and the European Union fell for the third consecutive quarter, standing at 6.9% and 6.3% of GDP, respectively. Public debt also declined compared to the first quarter of the year. Between April and June, Portugal recorded a deficit of 4.5% of GDP, behind countries like Spain and France in the middle of the table.
The Employment and Professional Training Institute also revealed that September ended with 359,148 unemployed people registered with the country’s public employment services. The monthly unemployment statistics reveal that this is the sixth consecutive fall in unemployment in a chain.
The Portuguese Stock Exchange started trading this morning in negative territory, with the PSI-20 devaluing 0.14%, to 5.723.07 points. In the opposite direction were the main European counterparts. The German DAX index gained 0.22%, the French CAC 40 gained 0.58%, the British FTSE 100 rose 0.10%, and the Italian FTSE grew 0.18%. Also, the Euro Stoxx opened the session, adding 0.47% to 4,175.35 points. The Spanish IBEX 35 index retreated 0.18%.